Eric WoodyardESPN3 minutes to read
There were endless options with interesting stories as the NFL was creating the 2023 schedule, but in the end the league decided to offer The Detroit Lions at Kansas City in a primetime Thursday night kickoff game on Thursday, September 7th.
The defending Super Bowl champion — led by MVP Patrick Mahomes — will always attract interest, but it’s important for Detroit to receive such national coverage, especially since the Lions were the only NFL team without a game in prime time. The schedule at this point last year.
The NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning, Mike North, said Friday that the Lions “earned” the spotlight after winning eight of their last 10 games in 2022 to finish at 9-8. It was the team’s first winning season since 2017.
“Detroit scored down the stretch, what was it, eight out of the last 10? And the last time we all saw it, they were going Lambo [Field] “We always talk about you playing your way into prime time, you making your way into the bigger TV windows, and the Lions have done that,” North told reporters on a conference call.
“Maybe it started a little bit in August with Hard Knocks, and everybody got to know the coach [Dan] Campbell and he knew what the knee biters could be someday, but they deserved it with their play on the field, and we thought about all the kick-off options, all of the Kansas City home opponents and which one of them would work,” he said. “We were comfortable with every one of them and that included Detroit’s final schedule.”
The Lions are scheduled for four primetime games in 2023, in addition to their traditional Thanksgiving game versus Green Bay on November 23 at Ford Field.
Detroit will return to Lambeau for “Thursday Night Football” against the Packers on Sept. 28, host the Las Vegas Raiders on “Monday Night Football” on Oct. 30 and travel to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night, Dec. 30, on ESPN/ABC.
Over the past five seasons, the Lions have played in only five primetime games, the fewest in the NFL.
Campbell appeared early on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Friday and talked about the Week 1 appearance at Arrowhead Stadium.
While Campbell is excited about the opportunity, he sets the record straight, saying that the Lions will try to “show what we’re about in prime time.”
He said the schedule shows the Lions are “earning respect” across the league, but they have to.
“Here’s my first thought,” Campbell said on the show, “I’m going to be completely honest with you as to why they should give us Kansas City.” “Well, I ended the year a certain way, but that also means they bet we wouldn’t kick our ass. You might get beat, but you wouldn’t get stabbed. That’s what they do,” he says.
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”